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Late Have I Loved Thee is the first collection of Saint Augustine's varied writings on human and divine love, chosen to reflect his lifelong preoccupation with ordo amoris, the principle of rightly directed love. "My weight is my love," he writes in The Confessions. He sees our ability to love as disordered by sin, so that we often choose badly what and how to love. Only by recognizing that we are commanded to love God first can any other object of our love be properly ordered, Late Have I Loved Thee draws on the riches found in Augustine's sermons, letters, treatises, and Scripture commentaries, as well as passages from The Confessions and City of God.
Augustine (354-430 A.D.) was the most prolific writer of Christian antiquity and the most influential theologian in Church history. In his first encyclical, God Is Love, current Pope Benedict XVI acknowledges his indebtedness to him. When we read Augustine today, we encounter the same direct, eloquent passions his original listeners experienced, infused with his deep sense of human weakness and burning desire for union with God.